The implementation of the right to education requires funding in order to build schools, pay teachers’ salaries and training, provide teaching materials, etc.
Under international law, states have the obligation to use the maximum of their available resources to realise the right to education. Even when a state’s resources are very limited, it is obliged to prioritise certain immediate obligations, such as the introduction of free primary education and to guarantee education for all without discrimination. It is also obliged to provide progressively free secondary and higher education and to continuously improve the quality of education. This means that it must take immediate and progressive steps to fully realise the right to education and must not take retrogressive measures.
To implement the right to education effectively, states should ensure that a sufficient proportion of the national budget is allocated to education financing and that the money is used effectively and equitably to guarantee education for all, as well as redress inequalities.
International Declarations, such as the 2011 Jomtien Statement, recognise that states should spend at least 6% of their GDP and /or at least 20% of their national budgets on education in order to achieve quality education for all. In some states, the national education budget is guaranteed by the constitution or legislation, for example in Brazil, Costa Rica and Indonesia.